Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Shops I'd Love to Call My Own...

In an effort to wrap up some of my finds from Brasil, I've decided to feature the two stores of which I wish were available in the States: O Boticario, and Contem 1g. The first is a shop which is a bit reminiscent of the Body Shop--carrying various cremes, lotions and sprays, a wide range of fragrances and a limited line of makeup. It was in every mall, and every shopping district--if not once, then twice!

Since it was nearing Valentine's Day when we visited, every store front featured a romantic themed product, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a few of them. Mom received some perfume, and I grabbed the Beijo body mousse (it's as light as marshmallows, and has a vanilla-ish floral scent to it), as well as the Kiss Me fragrance which has a similar yet more intense scent. After searching online, I'm finding that although this is a tried and true Brazilian company, they are starting to expand into Australia and possibly the US. I could only be so lucky!

Cosmetics-wise, Contem 1g was another brand unique to the country, which offered the feel of a less showy MAC counter. The majority of their packaging is black, with a few exceptions when it came to a limited compact or mineral line. Although I was completely turned off by the way in which the makeup artist applied blush to my poor face ("more bloooshy?"...NO!), I was still able to make off with at least a couple of items to my liking. That of course wasn't before the hubs laughed at my clown cheeks for a good five minutes.

A Batom Color Effect Lipstick in Natural (which in my opinion is more rose-inclined), is moisturizing and doesn't ask for an application of lip balm beforehand:

Creme Blush in Rosa Cintilante. I am so weak around non-powdery blushes--I think they can go a long way to make you appear years younger:

Oh, and one little bonus item! Non-makeup related, I found the most adorable store in a complex where all of the shop keepers featured local artists. Religious art and jewelry is totally my thing (one look at my house, and you'll know what I mean), so when I spotted this keychain I knew it had my name all over it.

Well literally, it has Mary's name all over it, as it's various versions of the Miraculous Medal--a medal that was created by St. Catherine after being visited by the Blessed Virgin three times within the year 1830. One thing I love about my faith is the fact that so many things we exhibit and show on the outside, are symbols of how we are feeling in our hearts. This in particular is a reminder of the graces we may have, if only we ask. Apparently I need a lot of reminding, as there are five of the same medal on this one :)

So, two questions for you lovely readers: What are some shops that you desperately wish were located where you live, but aren't? Also, are there religious items that you can't seem to get enough of?

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Little Travel Indulgences

If there's one thing that I can't help myself from doing while I'm traveling, it's perusing the drugstores and supermarkets. Whereas most people will return from a vacation with souvenirs and memorabilia stamped with exotic locales, I love to pick out jams and jellies, deodorants and soaps.

While away, I snagged a few things from the pharmacy that happened to be within walking distance pf our hotel--it either appeared as though I were really stinky and in need of several cleansing bars, or else I just had an obsession. Clearly, it's the latter.

Deodorant is done in so many different ways around the world--I get tired of the same old stuff we carry here, so a few new additions are always a big score in my book. That, and I never run short on sweat...it's possible that I sweat more than any other female in the world. But hey, I'm just healthy. Typically I'm on the lookout for Rexona (common in the Pacific, but also found in Brasil), but I settled on Nivea's Sensitive Balm (the scent is really clean, and it's non-irritating), and a cute little Garnier roller. That was based purely on the look of the casing :)

Soaps galore--I keep each bathroom stocked with plenty. Sometimes it's just nice to just have a solid bar of soap to work with. Sure, shower gels and creams tend to be more moisturizing, but when those have run their course, you just need to go with what you know. We certainly don't have fig or pomegranate around my way, so these needed to be added to the basket.

There is a line in Brasil that can be found in a few pharmacies, called Seven. I had read about the papaya cleansing water (I heart cleansing waters), and later discovered all of the other little treats the company had to offer. Papaya soap, coconut cleanser, a coconut water facial spray, and a papaya face cream (not pictured). It's sort of like all of my favorite breakfast fruits, but processed just enough to spread on my face. Deeelish.

So here's what I'd like to know--what are the things that you absolutely need to get your hands on when traveling to a new place?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Naked Honey: A Quick Review

There aren't many MAC collections that I look forward to throughout the year. I feel that they've been overdone, and the focus now seems to be on how many collections can be put out, as opposed to real solid collections that make a mark. That's a bit of a rant, but regardless, I was anticipating the Naked Honey launch, as I have a total soft spot for honey scented (and flavored) things. I marked the release date in my calendar, and was excited that I would be home from the honeymoon in time. Ah, the things that really hold weight in my life.

The makeup didn't appeal to me, on exception of the Queen Bee Lipglass. I'm really enjoying this one (um, it's already a third empty), because although it's a bit more sheer than I expected, it goes a long way in toning down the pinkness of my lips. I paired it with NYX's Tea Rose round lipstick, and developed the most beautiful pinky/coral that I could have asked for. It's extra yummy with a tan.
The Honey Skin Salve is the sort of product I'm always on the hunt for. Something moisturizing, that is ridiculously thick. The lady at the counter need only slap it on my elbow for me to realize that "Oh yes...I need this. I totally see what it's doing.." The stuff is thick. Sure it may be a bit overpriced compared to other salves, but the scent is that of honey. Top that.

The final product that I snatched was one of the scents, Africanimal. I'm an avid user of Lush's Honey I washed the Kids (solid, please!), and so naturally the lingering scent of honey in this one also appealed to my senses. It's definitely not light, but instead offers a heady sort of nightime muskiness. As of late, I've rediscovered a bit of an obsession with fragrance, so it didn't take much to throw this one in the bag.

Unfortunately (and fortunately), I pre-ordered all of these things, and they accidentally rung me up for doubles on all of the items. I think that mi madre is happily enjoying all of her new honey scented items in Aussie :) I like to think of it as a reminder of her daughter, and why she needs to hurry home!

Does anyone know of a good dupe for Queen Bee? Also, are you looking forward to any upcoming MAC lines?

PS. Huge Congrats to my dear cousin on his Uni Grad
this past weekend! A quick pic of myself, sis, and the big
baby who is now a college graduate :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I've Finally Won an Award!

It's true...I got kudos from the lovely Lady B, who has a bangin' blog, and a sweet sweet personality. Have you seen her site before? The objective here, is to name six things that occurred throughout the day and really and truly made me happy. I seem to find joy in the most minute of activities, so here are the first six that pop off my head:

*I had my favorite soy vanilla latte and chocolate chip cookie which I typically reserve for Sundays (in an attempt to practice self-control). Deeelicious!

*One of my dear bridesmaids arrived at my door, offering every bit of energy she had in her, to help unpack endless boxes of wedding gifts. I thanked her with saimin (aka Top Ramen), because I'm that kind of host.

*I switched all of my drinking glasses from round to square glasses. I felt like my modern and progressive nature should be exhibited in all forms. It's taking a bit of getting used to, but I like this square thing I have going on now...

*Was informed by my booker that I lost weight since I've returned from vacation. I didn't know a straight diet of rice and beans could do that to you? Bring it!

*My mama called me just moments before her plane left for Australia, to tell me she loved me and to get some sleep. I love that my being married does not prevent her from telling me what to do :)

*I told the hubs that he reminds me of Milton from the Simpsons. We laughed so hard our stomachs hurt...since we both know he's really a geek.

So there you have it. Now it's your turn! I now nominate:


Now it's time to heed the advice of a wise woman, and get some sleep!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Our Wedding at a Glance...

These are gathered from friend's and family's personal photos. We're still waiting on those from our photographer. It was a four day celebration, and this was Saturday at the Cathedral and the reception hall. There isn't a single thing that I would have changed about it...

Lots of weekend love to all!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Colorama Mama Jama

In preparation for Brasil (I know, I haven't even gotten to the wedding yet..it's coming!), I started researching like mad for Brasiliera beauty blogs. I had to know what sorts of things I needed to keep my eyes open for; quickly finding that I should be on the lookout for nail polishes. It seemed as though one brand in particular was overtaking the blogosphere, and that brand was Colorama. You'd never know based on the packaging, but the brand is owned by L'Oreal, yet produced in Sao Paulo.I wish that I had tested Rosa Pink (a sassy hot pink--the type of shade that rarely gets the love it deserves) prior to returning home--it applies like a paint, and is virtually un-chippable! I prefer very hot showers, and that is usually death to my poor nails. Not so with this baby..I've had about three of them in a row (the visual above was taken after all three) since applying, and there has yet to be a change. When it comes to polish, I tend to prefer brands like Essie and OPI--yet these were much cheaper, and with better results! I also picked up an Impala nail varnish, which has a champagne-ish gold sheen to it. I've yet to try that one, but am hoping for similar results. What are your go-to nail polish brands?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Little Blogger Love...

It's always a breath of fresh air to find that someone else has just as huge of an interest in your habit as you do. The lovely world of social networking has made it that much easier to find these people (something I'm sure the family is happy about), and that is just what I discovered in Tali from the Gloss Goss. She's forever rating and reviewing the things she picks up on the other side of the water (England to be exact), and so I've taken heed to a few of those items, and am pleased to report back with rave reviews! Do check out her blog--it's well worth your while!

Laura Geller is one of those brands that never really jumped out at me from the shelves. It was one of those lines that looks as though it's hiding something really great, but you're just not sure what it is. Tali had picked up one of the Blush & Brighten baked marbleized blushes, and it gave me a reason to consider it. I grabbed the Sunswept shade, which consists of bronze, coral and rose hues. It's swirled together so beautifully, and then baked for 24 hrs. On the skin, it leaves just a slight glow (not overpowering at all), and is a lot less glittery than MAC's Grand Duo blushes. I'm not one for glitter on the face, so this is perfect.

Lancome's Hypnose Mascara is another product that she swears by, and that I now too feel a huge relationship forming with. Over the years, I've dismissed a lot of Lancome's products as just plain boring--but this lengthens beyond what many higher-end mascaras seem to do. Bigger, badder lashes. They're amazing. The women in the family will definitely be finding this in their '09 Christmas stockings!
Last but not least, a drugstore find. I have to give her credit for finding the gems inside our drugstores that I seem to overlook time and time again. This time it's Maybelline's Mineral Power Bronzer Makeup Booster. Mix just a bit of this product with your favorite foundation, moisturizer, or even apply it directly to your skin. It's non-streaky and very subtle. Have you all seen MAC's Style Warriors line that just came out? They sell a very similar product called lustre drops, that isn't even half as wearable as this cheapie counterpart. I've had such good luck with this Mineral Power line--it has yet to play up on my skin :)

Just a few more things for you to think about as you wrap up the work day, and dream about the weekend!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ipanema in a Bottle

It took me about a week to get back on track, but I'm back and I'm better than ever! I've missed chit-chatting with you all, and there are loads of things in store to share. Although there are numerous posts that will be centered around all things wedding-related (someone else needs to hurry up and get married...I've just discovered my desire to play around with other people's wedding plans, as my own was just too much to attempt at times), I'll start with something that I grabbed once I returned home from sunny, relaxing Brasil.

Would you know that in Brasil, there aren't any Victoria's Secret stores to be found? With all of the beauty that the country offers (in terms of supermodels) to the infamous pages of that catalogue, you'd think that they'd have at least one. Nope. The only place you'll be lucky enough to find it at, are the duty free shops--and in my opinion, they have the worst pickings! Strawberries and Champagne body spritz? I think I'll pass.

So, upon returning home I ran straight for one, and found a handful of Brasil-marketed products on offer. I still think this is odd, as nobody in Brasil really gets to benefit from these things...but that's neither here nor there. Beauty of Brazil is a limited line of products featuring ingredients that are common in Brasil. The Very Sexy Now fragrance, is one that I wouldn't have picked up, had I not seen the words "papaya, orchid and creamy coconut milk" on the bottle. It's no secret that I'm a sucker for coconut derived fragrances, and when I sprayed this, it smelled more of Very Sexy Beach. You know what I mean--a fresh coconut spilling over with agua de coco, the salty air from the water, and sun. In the bag. The matching oil is equally soft and inviting in scent, and it includes buriti and babassu oil as extra moisturizing agents. It's difficult to come by a spray oil, and ever since Origins discontinued Birthday Suit, I've been searching like mad. This completes the need, with a subtle yet sexy undertone which can be paired with many different complementing scents. Soo in the bag. At 40% off (in stores, not online), I may just have to go back and pick up some backups!

Have you tried this? What scents remind you of the beach?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

So Much to Update!

It's done! I'm officially married off, and enjoying the last leg of our honeymoon :) I know, I shouldn't be blogging...but there is so much to update you all with--from the lipcolor of choice from the wedding day (which by the way, has been my lifesaver throughout this trip), to the things I've picked up overseas..and plan to grab at the duty-free! Looking forward to chatting with you all soon!

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